A forum for van conversions, van living and travel

The vanlife => Van Conversion => Topic started by: northwestwanderer on August 25, 2016, 03:14:56 AM

Title: Trailers versus Vans.. ?
Post by: northwestwanderer on August 25, 2016, 03:14:56 AM
Hello! I am trying to decide between purchasing a bare minimum trailer such as Hiker Trailer or a Sprinter or similar van. I would prefer to do the entire conversion myself because of cost and customization capacity. But am struggling to decide if I can get by with a pull behind trailer or if I really should splurge on a van.

I have a 2005 Subaru Outback that has fairly low milage and I feel confident in my abilities to fix most problems may occur on a xc trip. I go backpacking and backcountry skiing a lot and that requires going up bad forest service and country roads. So I can see myself dropping the trailer at a campground and then taking the Outback up.

But the convenience and "cool" factor of a van is somewhat appealing although the cost is a definite turn off. What would you recommend? trailer or van?
Title: Re: Trailers versus Vans.. ?
Post by: Nulife on August 25, 2016, 09:30:32 AM
Hi ya,
Well MY personal view is a Van being the way to go !.
Easier to Drive, Easier to FIND suitable parking, & Being able to actually PARK in spots, Only 1 lot of Security to worry about, More MPG fuel consumption, Ferry & Paid Parking Spots cheaper & more choice, & Much more Friendly in the Useability senses....But I'm sure that whatever your final choice is, You would have Thought it THOROUGHLY through to fit your lifestyle choices, So Good Luck.
Title: Re: Trailers versus Vans.. ?
Post by: kryten on August 26, 2016, 06:31:49 PM
I would agree with Nulife about the van option. If you're considering stealth camping then a trailer does limit your options. A trailer might be a good choice if you only stay on camp grounds, and have a suitable towing vehicle.
Title: Re: Trailers versus Vans.. ?
Post by: Nulife on August 26, 2016, 10:34:02 PM
Yes, Good Point Kryten ref 'Stealth Camper'..I have to say though, Although I've been a Full time Livaboard on Boats for almost 30years Traveling Mainly the UK & European Waterways, I'm a comparative Baby when it comes to Full timing in my Wheeled home 'The Nest' of a under a year. But one observation I HAVE made on my travels in that short time is. 'Stealth Campers' actually have attracted more attention from our boys in blue, Business owners, Farmers / Land owners in some of the park ups than my Very obvious livaboard Motorhome does !. So I do find this Stealthy Vs Obvious Livaboard Vehicle thing interesting...
Touch wood, I've not yet ever been asked to move on, or even had a enquiring Tap on the Windows,,,,YET !.
I think most people in main stream living situations look at a Motorhome parked up & think 'Hmm, Motorhome for the night',,,if 3 or more parked up 'OMG The Travelers are here !',,,if a (Stealthy Camper) is trying to look inconspicuous, Then they think 'Hmmm, Their up to no good call the police !'.
What do you other guys think ?.
Title: Re: Trailers versus Vans.. ?
Post by: Camper_Dan on December 03, 2016, 08:23:26 AM
The problem is a bunch of fools who claim cargo vans are stealthy.  The truth is the more you try to hide the more conspicuous you become.  Switching away from a cargo van was one of the best things I ever did.

When I had a cargo van it was a target for cops, thieves, and unhappy neighbors.  Switching to a window van van solved all those problems.
Title: Re: Trailers versus Vans.. ?
Post by: Sparky on December 24, 2016, 09:26:32 AM
Agree it's an interesting topic!

I'm from London so 'stealth' made complete sense when I set-up my windowless panel van, however, that's not where I want to be & as soon as I started spending time in the countryside I felt I stood out like a sore thumb!  Truth is, any vehicle parked alone will attract the locals' attention/concern directly proportional to how mysterious it is.  Then I got into wind surfing so now there's a 14' board strapped to the roof at all times.  You still can't tell it's a live-in but now now it's immediately recognised as 'someone on holiday', probably on the move & probably of no threat.  That's my feeling anyway.  The board does attract attention but only in the form of friendly inquisitive chat, to date.

Always cracks me up when I see a 'stealth' van with a wood burner chimney poking out the top  ;D

So that would be my advice: some sort of advert so show how fluffy you are & approachable you would be  :)
Title: Re: Trailers versus Vans.. ?
Post by: Camper_Dan on January 07, 2017, 11:34:35 AM
In the USA switching from a cargo(panel) van to a passenger style window van, instantly changed the way I was perceived by others from creepy criminal to a harmless camper/tourist.  A very positive and uplifting change.  Having lots of windows cured my depression & loneliness too.